Shania Twain: Animal lover extraordinaire

While you likely know that Shania Twain is one of the world's most famous female pop music artists, you might not know she is also a real animal lover. Even her long-time stylist and fashion designer, Marc Bouwer, was once quoted as saying, "fur belongs on an animal, not on a hanger."

In her new book, "From This Moment On", Shania devotes several paragraphs to talking about her love for animals, including these excerpts on pages 202 and 203.

"… I was on my way back up to the house from the river when I heard the agonizing cries of a bear off in the distance. It carried on for so long, and my heart was breaking for him. Normally when this happens, it means either someone shot a bear and didn't finish the job, and the bear managed to get away wounded and was now roaming in pain, or it was caught in a trap waiting in agony until it either bled to death or the trapper came back and finished it off. It always made me upset when people who had no skill with a gun shot at an animal, wounding it and then giving up on it. I say shoot to kill the animal the first time, or don't hunt. I think hunters should have to go through annual courses before each hunting season to make sure that their shooting skills are up to snuff, as with the time lag between sessions, one's marksmanship can get rusty and the "practice shooting" ends up being on live animals. That's just barbaric, in my opinion."

"I did hunt with my dad and grandparents growing up, and it was emphasized strongly that the goal was to always kill your prey swiftly to avoid as much pain as possible for the animal. It is very difficult to shoot any animal without actually causing it some pain, unless you are extremely accurate and kill it instantly with a direct shot to the heart or brain. I much prefer being a vegetarian and avoiding the association with this today, to be honest. We hunted our common Ontario forest foul, partridge, often on the tree plants, and as we didn't always have a gun with us, we did this by hand. Partidge like to stay cool and close to the ground in low bushes – often several of them together – so if a couple of people pounced on the cluster at just the right moment, you could often grab two or three. A quick twist of the neck did the job even more swiftly than shooting them. I hated this hands-on method, and it was a skill I can't say I acquired with any pleasure or pride, but it was quicker for the bird than than bullets. I hunted partridge into my twenties, as they were easy to get just off the side of the road. I'd clean them right there and then, as it's much easier to do when they're still warm, by stepping on their wings with a foot on either side of the breast, pulling on the feet, and out slides a clean bird ready for the pan or freezer. There's not much meat on a partridge, so once I had accumulated a handful, I'd make a meal with them."

"I don't judge anyone who hunts or eats meat, as I believe it's a very personal choice, but I have a hard time imagining that I ever killed or cleaned any animal with my own hands. This all seems like another lifetime to me now, as I haven't eaten any animal parts in about twenty years, let alone killed any animals."

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The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at thefurbearers.com.

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